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But will it include an insert? The scoop on in-store DVD burning

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But will it include an insert? The scoop on in-store DVD burning

Old 11-21-05, 01:13 AM
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But will it include an insert? The scoop on in-store DVD burning

In-store DVD burning?
Wal-Mart pushes talks; possible deployment in 2006
By Paul Sweeting and Jennifer Netherby -- Video Business, 11/18/2005
NOV. 18 | With retail shelves groaning under the weight of accumulating DVD releases, studios, retailers and technology companies are pushing to develop a system for burning discs on demand at in-store kiosks as a way to ease the inventory load.

Although the idea isn’t new, work in the area has accelerated recently and could result in limited deployments as early as 2006, those involved in developing the technology said.

Among the retailers showing the keenest interest in the concept is Wal-Mart, which is grappling with tight shelf space, shrinking DVD margins and the threat of competition from direct-to-consumer downloads.

According to studio sources, discussions with Wal-Mart have gained urgency in recent months, although all denied that any deployment of download-and-burn kiosks is imminent in Wal-Mart stores.

A Wal-Mart spokeswoman confirmed that conversations with the studios are ongoing, said no decision had been made on whether to proceed.

“This is simply something that is in the discussion phase as to whether our customers would be interested,” the spokeswoman said. “As always, we’ll continue to try to stay on top of what we think will appeal to our customers.”

Other moves may be closer to reality, however.

In a conference call with analysts to discuss the company’s second-quarter earnings earlier this month, Sonic Solutions CEO David Habiger revealed that Sonic has been working with the studios on a download-to-burn system for the past two years and is hopeful that a rollout could begin next year.

“We’re still waiting for final approvals [from studios], but it could begin to have a material effect on earnings in the second half of 2006,” Habiger told the analysts.

Habiger did not disclose specific deployment plans but suggested the technology could have a variety of uses.

“This is not about replicating the video store, it’s about building a common industry platform for secure electronic sell-through,” Habiger said. “It could involve many different types of content, but we see downloading of premium studio content to DVDs as the killer app.”

A Sonic spokesman would not confirm whether the company is working with Wal-Mart or any other specific retailer, but said in-store burning is one of the applications Sonic’s technology would facilitate.

“The day [is coming] when you can walk into your favorite store and be guaranteed that the DVD you want is there,” the spokesman said.

Sonic’s involvement would likely increase the studios’ comfort level with the download-to-burn concept.

Through its Roxio subsidiary, Sonic is a leading provider of legitimate desktop CD and DVD editing and burning software.

More importantly, the company is a leading provider of professional DVD authoring software and tools and has a long history of close collaboration with the studios.

“We think we’re uniquely positioned to do this due to our backing in DVD burning and our relationships throughout the industry,” the Sonic spokesman said.

Sonic also is developing authoring tools for both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

Some retailers that have closely followed developments in the download-to-burn area remain skeptical, however.

According to one sell-through retailer, the studios are unlikely to distribute their top new release or catalog titles through an untested system like this for at least a couple years. The retailer said he sees the technology as an add-on, used when stores run out of studio copies.

Another retailer said, in-store burning is never likely to be cost-competitive with commercially manufactured discs, so would be unsuitable for new releases and large catalog titles.

Instead, the retailer said, it would be more applicable for smaller titles that a store would not normally stock.

Even then, many details remain to be worked out before a download-to-burn system could be deployed commercially.

One critical issue involves copy-protection.

To be compatible with standard DVD players, any disc created in-store would have to rely on the same Content Scrambling System used to encrypt commercially manufactured DVDs.

If a downloaded file contained CSS, however, the encryption would prevent burning.

For the system to work, CSS would have to be removed from the file and then reapplied after the disc has been successfully burned.

Sonic and Microsoft have developed technology for accomplishing that without compromising security, but their technique is yet to be approved by the DVD Copy Control Assn., the organization that oversees CSS licensing, sources said.

Packaging also could present a challenge.

Although cover art could be downloaded and printed on-site, anything more elaborate would add time and cost.

Sonic officials said those problems can be solved, however.

“We’re actively developing a comprehensive download-to-burn platform,” the spokesman said
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Old 11-21-05, 01:27 AM
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Oh? I could do that myself, and will if it comes to that.

-JP
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Old 11-21-05, 01:51 AM
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Worst idea ever. I don't even trust them to develop my film.
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Old 11-21-05, 02:08 AM
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I would think that Walmart would just try to work something out with the studios, to get their dvd's packaged in thinkpacks rather than the standard amary caes. This would double the amount of discs they could carry.
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Old 11-21-05, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Peep
Worst idea ever. I don't even trust them to develop my film.
LOLOLOLOL!! Right on, man. But, then, something like this isn't intended for people like us.
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Old 11-21-05, 04:39 AM
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For the same price, I'd pass-for a discount it might be worth it for some releases
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Old 11-21-05, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Peep
Worst idea ever. I don't even trust them to develop my film.
LOL!

To me, one of the main things DVD has got going for it is the value-added presentation. The packaging and the art on the discs go a long way with me and I'm sure a lot of others too. I would not settle for a burned copy of a film bought from a store. I can do that now for free if I really wanted to but I like all the "other stuff" that comes with buying a DVD.
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Old 11-21-05, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Egon's Ghost
LOLOLOLOL!! Right on, man. But, then, something like this isn't intended for people like us.
Laugh out loud out loud out loud out loud!

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Old 11-21-05, 06:10 AM
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It's a decent idea. But like many, I want a case and cover art with any dvd I buy and these would have neither.
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Old 11-21-05, 07:23 AM
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Walmart can get more DVD "shelf space" by making their shelves a tiny bit higher and stacking stuff (like Best Buy) so you see the spine. Their obsession with only keeping a limited number of titles in stock is infuriating.
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Old 11-21-05, 07:25 AM
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Unless they have a Kinkos style back room, I fail to see how they can issue any boxed sets with complex cover art.
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Old 11-21-05, 07:36 AM
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So in essense they remove 3 shelves of movies and add 30 workers. I'd imagine this process would be time consuming and on busy days it would require them to have a large staff to keep up with the demand. At that point most people would probably just go to another store. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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Old 11-21-05, 08:10 AM
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My biggest concern would be the quality of the dvds they make. Especially with how it looks that they will be doing a work around for the CSS, those always seem to create problems. If these DVDs aren't consistently well-made I won't even consider it.
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Old 11-21-05, 08:23 AM
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I want to see them on a black Friday burning DVDs. And then the riot afterwards. All I want to know, who are the guys who come up with these stupid ideas? This one, DIVX, EZ-DVD, Snapcases, etc. Really, do they have a meeting and then decide what stupid idea they will try to push innefectively?
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Old 11-21-05, 08:46 AM
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I don't see how they can do this at a reasonable price point. Wal-Mart is pushing $1 DVDs at the checkout now, and is famous for thier $5.xx bin of films. They've essentially already "devalued" DVDs in the public's mind. There's no way that even an unsavvy customer would pay more than a buck or so for a burned DVD with no artwork (or some sort of generic, cheesy printed artwork).

At those price levels, no studio is going to want to participate. I don't see how you can do this and still make money, unless you are only using this for public domain titles. In which case, why bother? That wouldn't gain you any shelf space. They really just use those titles to snag impulse buyers...
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Old 11-21-05, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by dx23
All I want to know, who are the guys who come up with these stupid ideas? This one, DIVX, EZ-DVD, Snapcases, etc. Really, do they have a meeting and then decide what stupid idea they will try to push innefectively?
You beat me to it with DIVX and EZ-DVD. Those two "revolutionary" ideas came to mind the moment I saw this thread title.

We are moving toward a world with little physical media, and I don't like it. My girlfriend (we live together) used to constantly try to get me to simply rip all the songs from my modest 100 CD collection and get rid of the CDs. I finally told her to shut up about it. I like my CDs--the ones I have. Currently I have no plans to buy an MP3 player (i-Pod or otherwise).

Because people have embraced downloading songs, all avenues will be explored for movies. I like my collection of 500 DVDs (463 plus TV sets) and wouldn't want to get rid of them for some massive home theater PC with 3 terrabytes of storage.
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Old 11-21-05, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by bboisvert
I don't see how they can do this at a reasonable price point. Wal-Mart is pushing $1 DVDs at the checkout now, and is famous for thier $5.xx bin of films. They've essentially already "devalued" DVDs in the public's mind. There's no way that even an unsavvy customer would pay more than a buck or so for a burned DVD with no artwork (or some sort of generic, cheesy printed artwork).

At those price levels, no studio is going to want to participate. I don't see how you can do this and still make money, unless you are only using this for public domain titles. In which case, why bother? That wouldn't gain you any shelf space. They really just use those titles to snag impulse buyers...
Excellent point!
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Old 11-21-05, 11:43 AM
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Haven't a clue as to what they're referring to. I have yet to be in a Wal-Mart that devoted a decent amount of space to DVD inventory. WM certainly gives them no more than they did for VHS tapes. Most have more aisle space for CDs.

My favorite Borders has more shelf space for DVDs than any of the Wal-Marts I've been in.

There are at least five Wally Worlds with a twenty mile radius of where I live (and another four or five within a forty mile radius) and I've noticed something interesting. Very inconsistent pricing for major new releases in the same metropolitan area - Phoenix, AZ. A release with a $19.99 to $24.99 msrp will be $14.99 at one store, $17.99 at another and $19.99 at still another. At the store nearest to me, Revenge of the Sith wasn't even on sale on release day.

One would imagine this same thing holds true for other merchandise as well.

Sorry: Didn't mean to hijack the thread into a Wal-Mart bash. FWIW, I doubt in-store burning will have much success.

Last edited by Jon2; 11-21-05 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 11-21-05, 11:57 AM
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I'd really rather d/l and burn the darn disc at home and d/l and print my own artwork if that's what they're going to do. Why bother going to the store for such things?

I will still prefer to buy my DVDs in a store or online and there's pretty much no way I will want to buy a burned DVD from Wally World. How much can they screw this idea up?
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Old 11-21-05, 03:43 PM
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So every time I go to buy a movie some snotty trailer park girl is gonna be telling me that the dvd burners are out of service. I think I'll pass.
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Old 11-21-05, 06:40 PM
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Hmm, most everyone I know is already burning their own movies from Netflix. I think I'm the last one left I know that actually buys DVDs on a regular basis. I have an OCD problem with DVD-Rs with "Star Wasr" and "Ofice Spice" written on them in sharpie though and prefer the actual studio discs.
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Old 11-21-05, 07:04 PM
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Hmm, most everyone I know is already burning their own movies from Netflix.
Have you reported them yet? Call 1-800-NO-COPYS
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Old 11-21-05, 07:34 PM
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Obviously this isn't for anyone who cares what movies look like. DL-DVDs compressed to a DVD-5 look like crap (IMO) and DL DVD+R are nowhere near reliable enough. If I wanted highly compressed discs, I would burn them myself. I buy my discs because I want the highest video quality available (and, of course, don't want to be breaking the law).
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Old 11-21-05, 07:49 PM
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I guess Best Buy and Reward Zone would get all of my money. Wal-Mart would be better off shelving this idea.
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Old 11-21-05, 08:26 PM
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Hey, look at it this way - the increase in customer traffic will enable Walmart to hire more illegal alie - uh, I mean hard-working, industrious, family-oriented, undocumented workers.
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